Distracting Word Meme

Ella at Box of Books, while slogging through a turgid tome, became distracted by words and came up with this list. My blogodoppelgänger, Julie at Bookworm, took up the meme, and then tagged me. Here we go:

Words that always look misspelled to me:
weird (why isn’t it wierd? why?!?)
dilemma
judgment

Words that look nicer in italics:
caesura
amanuensis
vibrissae
mnium

Words I enjoy saying:
propinquity
Hylocomium splendens
Maianthemum dilatatum
Arctostaphylos uva-ursi
Astragalus
Popocatepetl and Ixtaccihuatl

Words I enjoy hearing:
human rights (because we need to talk about it more and I have one or two opinions on the matter)
environment (ditto)

Abbreviations I dislike:
Can’t think of any abbreviations, but acronyms are another matter! I prefer the Mexican system, where they incorporate more letters to make pronounceable word-like acronyms, like Difocur (Dirección de Investigación y Fomento de Cultura Regional) or Sedesol (Secretaria de Desarollo Social). Here we come up with gems like WAP (Watershed Assessment Program) and WLAP (pronounced “wallop” – for the Ministry formerly known as Water, Lands, and Air Protection). Sheesh.

Proper nouns I enjoy:
Manicouagan (new to me)
Tegucigalpa
Chichicastenango
Oaxaca
Habanero
Popocatepetl and Ixtaccihuatl

Words I associate with happiness:
peace
warm
quiet
done
sleep
food

Words I always misspell:
weird
accommodation
memento
vacuum

Words I enjoy spelling correctly, every time:
Connecticut (not that I have much call to spell it)
Sault Ste. Marie (same here)
effect/affect as appropriate
Popocatepetl and Ixtaccihuatl

An addition from Julie:
Words that, though I love their meaning, I’m too embarrassed to say out loud:
Xanthocephalus xanthocephalus (I don’t exactly love the meaning of it but I love knowing that it’s one of the two longest tautonymous species names. Unfortunately it makes me sound like Sylvester the Cat.)

One more for good measure:
Words I can never remember the meaning of no matter how many times I look them up:
alacrity (fast? slow? argh!)
Can’t remember any more… which is sort of the point.

All verbophiles are invited to play along but I would particularly enjoy knowing what Stefanie and Susan might have to say on the matter.

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6 comments on “Distracting Word Meme

  1. Stefanie says:

    Aaahhhh! I've been thinking about words since Ella's post, now I'm going to actually have to commit to something? So many words to choose from!

  2. Julie says:

    Oh ha ha, so let me get this straight, Syl. There have been times when you wanted to say Xanthocephalus xanthocephalus out loud but refrained because you were too embarrassed? Or did you go ahead and, blushing, actually utter the phrase?

  3. Sylvia says:

    Well, there aren't a lot of opportunities to trot out X.x. but I generally refrain, especially among non-biologists. I did try it once in recent memory and it didn't exactly trip smoothly off the tongue. Very important to swallow first so as to avoid sprinkling your auditor.

  4. Ella says:

    Mmmmm, astragalus.

  5. Julie says:

    I like my astragalus lightly steamed, with hollandaise sauce. Or cold, in a vinaigrette. In the spring, you know, when it's in season.

  6. Ella says:

    Really? I prefer to admire it in the garden, complete with a light glimmer of morning dew, before giving in to the temptation of the broiler. Astragalus: too beautiful to eat, too tasty to leave.

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